Amazing Photo of the Old Post Office

Here’s a cool short post to end this Friday. I was scanning Shorpy and came across this photograph. I think it’s amazing. The building was built between 1892 and 1899. This photo was taken a year later, in 1900, so it’s brand new and it looks great … not to mention, it dominates the entire block. It’s massive.

Old Post Office (1900)

Old Post Office (1900)


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  • YellowLiner

    It’s beautiful today, too. I just wish someone could find a better use for it.

  • Opera_Gal

    The building currently hosts federal cultural agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. This would seem to be an appropriate use of the space, considering that the building had been slated for demolition and was only preserved due to the hard work of NEA Chairman Nancy Hanks, who secured its historic designation and thus preservation.

    Open to the public are the lobby level, the lower level, and the tower. The former offer food court restaurants and small shops geared for tourists. The tower of the building provides among the most incredible views of downtown Washington available. This building was constructed prior to the “height of buildings” congressional act passed in 1899 — that restricted all building heights at 110 feet — and as a result the views are without parallel. The Old Post Office is the second tallest building in the city, standing at 315 feet.

  • Ernie

    Since it sat right on the edge of Murder Bay or whatever the neighborhood was called at the time, was it seen as some sort of effort to spruce up the neighborhood? 1890s gentrification?

  • jfrank

    I worked there as a National Endowment for the Humanities employee in the early 90′s. It was and is a beautiful building! Too bad they never figured out what to do with the retail area. Great photo!

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